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  1. Hardware Review: Mini Touch 700 7" Touchscreen Monitor

    by , 11-04-2010 at 10:31 AM

    What is it?

    The Mini Touch 700 is a first generation 7-inch touchscreen TFT VGA display.

    The Verdict:

    The Mini Touch 700 should definitely be considered when searching for a new 7" VGA display. This new screen packs in most all of the features found on Xenarc and Lilliput units, and goes a step above by ensuring that 800x480 native resolution is available without hassle.

    What's in the box?

    The Mini Touch 700 is boxed with everything you will find included with a Lilliput and more. Included is the 7" Touchscreen, VESA mount, home and car power supplies, cables for USB, VGA, and composite audio/video. Also included are the touchscreen driver cd (uses the same drivers as lillput/xenarcs do), stylus pen, and a nice headrest shroud that the monitor fits right into.


    It is always nice when new items are produced that fit directly into the car PC realm, and the Mini Touch 700 is just that. The Mini Touch was designed specifically for use in a car. The creators made sure to include most all of the latest bells and whistles available on competing touchscreen units. The Mini Touch 700 has automatic power-on and automatic backup camera switching (it actually has two different options for auto-switching). It's missing the automatic brightness control via an ambient light sensor that the Xenarc 700TSV has, but there are plenty of software options which overcome this omission.

    Being that the Mini Touch is designed for car PC use, the designers put an emphasis on creating a clear and crisp display, and the Mini Touch shines here. The display uses a true 450 Nit LCD with LED backlight, and the Mini Touch 700 is definitely brighter than competing units.

    With a 500:1 contrast ratio, the screen is as beautiful as you will find in the car PC arena. The designers went above just having a clear display though. Another nod to the effort put into the screen being car PC friendly is the fact that it uses a video chip which allows a true native 800x480 resolution. If your video card drivers support 800x480, the Mini Touch will display in 800x480, no guesswork, no custom driver hacks needed.

    Now with most first-generation devices there are usually problems or bugs that present themselves over the course of time. In my extended testing, which covered roughly 6 months, I had no problems at all with the Mini Touch 700. There was no flickering, no image ghosting, and the unit seemed to have no problem with differences in temperature. My only real gripe with the Mini Touch 700 is the lack of DVI/HDMI. With VGA slowly phasing its way out of the market and more and more touchscreen devices including HDMI, I feel like a new product should factor those options in. Then again, if they included HDMI output in the first-generation, what's to look forward to in the second generation?

    The Positive:

    • Brightness and crisp display, about the best you'll find with analog video
    • Includes most all the features found in competing devices• Included headrest shroud makes it a breeze to fabricate into a dashboard
    • True 800x480 compatibility
    • New product from a new company. Car PCs arent all tablets yet!

    The Negative:

    • No HDMI input option
    • Potentially limited replacement part capability should the need exist.

    The Verdict:

    The Mini Touch 700 should definitely be considered when searching for a new 7" VGA display. This new screen pacts in most all of the features found on Xenarc and Lilliput units, and goes a step above by ensuring that 800x480 native resolution is available without hassle.

    Updated 11-04-2010 at 02:33 PM by Sonicxtacy02

    Product Reviews
  2. Ford Fiesta - iPad in dash - SEMA 2010

    by , 11-03-2010 at 10:41 AM

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    On-Air Personality: Sean Clark Videographer: Mike Palotas

    Sean Clark, from mp3Car, takes a look at the 2011 Ford Fiesta at the Ford booth at SEMA 2010 before the show starts. We find an iPad embedded in the dash, relocated HVAC controls, and relocated USB, AUX, and DC output jacks.

    This Fiesta also sports custom paint, tires, and some beautiful fabrication work, housing 12 inch subs and dual amplifiers.

    Mp3Car caught up with the car designer later to talk about some of the motivation behind the project and everything that went into the car. Stay tuned for more.

    Updated 10-09-2011 at 08:03 PM by Jensen2000

    Technology Events
  3. Directus - Convert After Market Radio to CarPC Box - SEMA 2010

    by , 11-02-2010 at 01:26 AM

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    Sean Clark from mp3Car gets a preview of the Directus telematics box. This box will overtake your after-market OR OEM radio's nav port and give it a new UI that will extend your basic Nav's functionality.

    By using this box you actually get to read your SD card, browse the file system, play all kinds of files, see your backup camera, use radar, USB and tons of other accessories that your normal radio would not know how to work with.

    We will have a series of videos tomorrow about Directus and their the products as we are shooting video at SEMA 2010 today.

    Updated 11-18-2010 at 01:51 PM by optikalefx

    Technology Events
  4. AFKFest 2010 BugByte - The past, present and future of car computing

    by , 10-29-2010 at 03:03 PM

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    Tom Berry, AKA BugByte on the forums, talks to AFKFest about the past, present and future of car computing. As one of the first car pc enthusiasts in the world, Tom explains the early uses for car pcs and how car pcs have evolved over time.

    He presents his thoughts on the current mobile data phase and the impact the car pc may have on the world in the future. Lots of good stuff in one brief segment.

    Updated 10-29-2010 at 03:54 PM by optikalefx

    Technology Events
  5. The future of UI

    by , 10-27-2010 at 12:05 PM

    I can begin to imagine a world where we manipulate computers instead of interact with them. This idea of being able to navigate the computer world, and have the computer understand space is not new, but its not accomplished.

    If it really is possible to get this type of system in a laptop say, without gloves, (even with gloves is fine with me) then we could see the next serious change in computer-human interfaces.

    Imagine what it would be like to create a 3d model of say a car, and be able to sculpt the model as if it was real. Even have some kind of actual feedback so you still get the feeling. But then you ask, why is going so digital so important. Well, sure a clay model is great, but having the history, having the undo ability, having multiple collaborators around the world, all these are possible in a digital world.

    Updated 10-27-2010 at 03:29 PM by optikalefx

    mp3Car News